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Department of Spatial Planning

Master's thesis wins Bauland Prize 2022

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Henning Olbrich won the 2022 Building Land Prize of the Forum Baulandmanagement with his Master's thesis entitled "Dilemmas of municipal decision-makers - actors in municipal land policy and their scope for action". The master's thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Hartmann from the Chair of Land Policy, Land Management and Municipal Surveying (BBV) and Dr. Anja Szypulski from the Chair of Urban and Regional Sociology (SOZ).

The student competition call is aimed at authors of academic theses that deal in substantial parts with questions of land management or land and property policy at the most diverse spatial levels. The focus can be on the use of concrete instruments for the provision of building land as well as on the organisation of processes or the further development of the legal framework. In addition to a clear reference to the overall topic of land / real estate, the competition entries should be relevant to German municipal practice and address current challenges and issues in an innovative way.

The Forum Baulandmanagement is awarding the prize in the fourth round for papers from the summer semester 2022 and winter semester 2022/2023.

Abstract of the Master's thesis

In order to respond to growth pressures in the housing market, municipalities are trying to mobilise building land for housing and are repeatedly confronted with the property rights of land owners. Land policy offers the municipality a perspective between public policy and private property rights to implement its plans. Using a combination of different qualitative research methods, an individual case study is used to answer the question of why municipalities in the environs of growing cities choose their respective land policy strategies. By means of a document analysis, the land policy goals are ascertained, followed by an investigation of the municipality's land policy practice and the instruments used by the municipality. Problem-centred interviews with actors from politics and administration of the municipality provide information on the reasons why the municipality decides for or against a land policy strategy. Strategy concepts and decisions are not implemented according to technical-rational standards. Within the municipality, the interaction between the council and the administration determines land policy action. The individual actors and decision-makers consciously leave themselves room for manoeuvre or actively use the options given to them. Decisive influencing factors for land policy action are the initial situation of the municipality in terms of growth pressure and ownership, the land policy goals and external influences to which the municipality must react. By using their room for manoeuvre, individual decision-makers in the municipality can significantly influence spatial planning and especially the use and distribution of the scarce remaining land in the municipality.

More information: Forum Baulandmanagement